- Smooth ride.
- Handsome exterior.
- Excellent safety ratings.
- Spacious interior space for passengers.
- Sluggish acceleration with the base engine.
- Some cheap-feeling interior materials.
- Efficient diesel option is expensive.
Would we buy one? Yes.
Vehicle Type: A four-door, five-seat compact SUV.
Price Range: From $27,390 to $40,190, including a $1,195 destination fee.
Powertrain: A 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque, with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
A 252-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 260 lb-ft of torque, with a nine-speed automatic, and front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
A 137-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder with 240 lb-ft of torque, with a six-speed automatic and front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
Overall Score: 7.4/10
Safety Features: 8/10
The 2019 GMC Terrain has excellent safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave this compact SUV a perfect safety rating in all crash tests. At the same time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also gave this vehicle a top overall safety rating, a maximum five stars. However, the IIHS critiqued the vehicle's headlights for not illuminating the road well, resulting in the agency withholding a Top Safety Pick designation.
This vehicle comes standard with airbags, a rearview camera, and the Teen Driver system, which lets owners lock in the speed and audio settings for specific drivers.
Higher trim levels feature a wide variety of extra driver assistance technology features, including lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, and rear cross-traffic alert. Optional features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, front pedestrian braking, low-speed forward collision warning, a safety alert seat, adaptive headlights, and parallel and perpendicular park assist. Some rivals such as the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 make many of these features standard, whereas they're unavailable on some Terrain models.
With prices ranging from $27,390 to $40,190, the 2019 GMC Terrain has four trim levels: the base SL, the SLE, the SLT, and Denali.
The GMC Terrain SL starts at $26,195, while the GMC Terrain SLE has a price tag of $29,295. Meanwhile, the GMC Terrain SLT trim has an MSRP of $32,095, whereas the GMC Terrain Denali trim costs $38,995.
Although the Mazda CX-5 has better handling and the Honda CR-V is roomier, the Terrain offers a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to looks, cargo space, and fuel economy. But options quickly push the price to premium compact SUVs such as the Acura RDX and Volvo XC60, which are more accomplished. And the mechanically identical Chevrolet Equinox is also less expensive.
Tech Features: 8/10
Reviewers have praised the 2019 Terrain for its wide range of tech features. On top of the 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system, the base-trim GMC Terrain SL boasts four USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, proximity keyless entry, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a six-speaker sound system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Higher trims of the 2019 Terrain sport an 8-inch touchscreen and seven-speaker Bose stereo system, along with satellite radio, HD radio, remote start, a navigation system, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and a wireless device charger.
The new Terrain enjoys 29.6 cubic feet of cargo space when the 60/40 split-folding rear seats are up. When those seats are down, you get 63 cubic feet of cargo space. That's not bad but a bit less than some rivals, such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
In terms of towing capacity, this compact SUV is admirable. It can pull 1,500 pounds with the base engine equipped and 3,500 pounds with the optional 2.0-liter turbo engine installed.
Several utility-enhancing perks are available for this vehicle, including roof rails and a hands-free power liftgate. Thanks to a low liftover height, stowing cargo in this SUV isn't too hard.
Styling & Design: 7/10
Many reviewers feel the 2019 Terrain looks sleeker and smoother than previous model years, noting that the floating roof, sculpted tail, boxy grille, and daytime running lights give it a more accessible feel. Special editions with chrome or black trim are available for a sharper look.
This SUV is 182.3 inches long and 72.4 inches wide, and it sports a wheelbase of 107.3 inches. The Terrain's curb weight is 3,449 to 3,841 pounds, depending on the trim. Both alloy and aluminum wheels are on offer, ranging in size from 17 to 19 inches, and exterior touches such as chrome mirror caps are available.
Inside, the GMC Terrain is roomy and comfortable, according to reviewers. The sloping roofline hampers rear-seat passengers somewhat, but everyone enjoys ample space for their legs and arms. Unfortunately, the mediocre cabin materials leave something to be desired, and some reviewers have criticized the dashboard for being unintuitive.
Cloth seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel come standard with this SUV. However, you can also get heated, ventilated, and leather seats as well as a heated steering wheel and eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat.
Driving Experience: 7/10
Sitting in the base trim of the 2019 GMC Terrain is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. Also available is a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque.
All gasoline engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, whereas the diesel engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
This vehicle handles well and maintains stability even at high speeds, and the brakes are smooth, if a little soft. Acceleration is so-so. The base engine accelerates fine at low speeds, but it takes 9.3 seconds to reach 60 mph, much slower than some rivals. The diesel engine has more passing muscle, but it's also much noisier.
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10
The Terrain's gas engines enjoy decent fuel economy for their class. With front-wheel drive installed, the 1.5-liter engine gets 26 mpg on city roads and 30 mpg on highways for a combined 28 mpg, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With all-wheel drive, that same engine gets 24 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined.
By contrast, the 2.0-liter engine gets 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined, while the 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine gets 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined.
All told, the Terrain enjoys gas mileage comparable to the Ford Escape or Toyota RAV4 but worse mileage than the Honda CR-V with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine equipped.